In response to the economic impact of this year's New Crown epidemic on the wine industry, the Italian government has issued a new decree allowing DOP (Appellation d'Origine and Assured Appellation) and IGP (Protected Designation of Origin) level wines to be bottled outside the appellation under certain conditions.
Image from: Italian Wine Network
On July 16 the Italian government issued Decree No. 76 of 2020, amending the Testo Unico del Vino, the Compendium of Wine Regulations. According to article 38, paragraph 7, of the old Testo Unico del Vino, wines of the DOP (Appellation d"Origine and Assured Appellation) and IGP (Protected Appellation of Origin) classes could not be bottled outside of the appellation and would not receive the corresponding appellation certification. The new decree has been adjusted to allow producers to bottle outside the corresponding appellation, provided that two conditions are met: one is the presence of force majeure, such as natural disasters or emergencies, recognized by the government authorities. This year's New Crown epidemic falls under this force majeure. The second is that the producer is temporarily unable to bottle in the production area due to the force majeure factors mentioned above.
The Italian Ministry of Agriculture (Mipaaf) said the new decree was issued to help the wine industry recover as soon as possible. A spokesman for the Italian Wine Regulating Commission (Federdoc) also agreed with the resolution. He believes that the current distillation law, which addresses the crisis in the sector, is more suitable for lower-priced table wines than for DOP (appellation d'Origine and appellation d'assurance) and IGP (appellation d'origine protection) level wines. At the same time, the authorities also stressed that, in order to avoid speculative fraud and other acts by exploiting the loopholes of the new decree, Italian state authorities at all levels, local authorities and appellation associations will be involved in the supervision of off-site bottling.